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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Taking Care of you, For you

September is National Self-Care Awareness Month, and it’s a time to remind ourselves of just how important our own health and well-being is. Whether you take a walk, get a massage, or do some meditating, make sure you carve out some time for yourself this month! According to Healthy Lifestyle Florida, only 6.6% of Americans 25 years of age and older practice health-related self-care every day. You are the only individual entirely responsible for yourself, so why aren’t you one of your own priorities? If you don’t take care of you, who will?

Self-care can be a combination of many different things, but regardless of how you practice self-care, it’s important, nonetheless. America’s Best Care Plus states, “To be clear, self-care is far more than a trending marketing tool. It’s actually an essential lifestyle choice that involves prioritizing things that keep you healthy in mind and body. When done correctly, self-care isn’t about buying products or selfishly indulging – it’s about setting healthy boundaries, making healthy choices, and preventing negative consequences of stress and self-neglect.” What works for one individual might not work for another individual, and that’s okay. What’s important is that you find what works for you.

Self-care is an accumulation of many different things that differ for each person. Your mental health comprises of your psychological, social, and emotional well-being, and your physical health also plays a part as well. Per the National Institute of Mental Health, “It affects how we think, feel, act, make choices, and relate to others.” It’s important to recognize that many people don’t intentionally mean to neglect themselves – it’s unfortunately just one of those things that can happen. Life gets busy, work needs your attention, your efforts are put into your relationships, or you simply procrastinate for another day. However, some self-care practices can be as simple as taking 5-10 minutes to write in a gratitude journal or taking a couple of minutes to meditate while your food finishes cooking. Whatever it may be, it’s important that you make a little time for yourself each day.

Taking time for yourself doesn’t mean you’re taking time from the other aspects of your life. If you’re running on half empty, what do you think you’re giving back to the other aspects of your life? Self-care may be about taking care of yourself, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it by yourself. For many people, a big form of self-care is spending time with family and friends because laughter and joy are good outlets, and you deserve to enjoy the little things.

The National Institute of Mental Health lists 8 practices that can help get you started with self-care:

  • Get Regular Exercise.
  • Eat regularly healthy meals and stay hydrated.
  • Make sleep a priority.
  • Try relaxing activities.
  • Set priorities, goals, and boundaries.
  • Practice gratitude and appreciation.
  • Focus on the positives.
  • Stay connected.

The list above contains practices that can help get you started, but that list is not all inclusive. It may take some trial and error to figure out what works for you, so be sure to find what you enjoy and need for yourself. We’re often hard on ourselves and hold ourselves to higher standards than we do others, but it’s important to remember to be kind, patient, compassionate, and forgiving with yourself. Your relationship with yourself is just as important as your relationships with your loved ones – prioritize you the way you prioritize them.

To further dive into the topic of self-care, we sat down with some of the members in our community to see what self-care means to them and what their self-care practices include. We also asked them for any recommendations or services they may offer to better one’s self-care.  

We sat down with Shaye Reilly from Alpha Assessment and Counseling to discuss what self-care is like for her. Shaye is a licensed professional counselor, and she is certified in trauma, grief and loss, and children and adolescents. She states, “Adopting self-care into your daily routine is important for your physical and mental health. The goal of self-care is to help you learn about your needs by recognizing patterns and areas of your life that need attention.” For her, self-care includes spending time with her family, traveling, laughing, exercising, staying in, praying, and volunteering her time to others. Her agency encourages self-care to assist in many aspects of one’s life. She states, “Research suggests self-care promotes positive health results such as increased physical health, resilience, longer life spans, and developing better avenues to manage stress.” The benefits of caring for yourself are vast and wide, but the one thing that never changes is the fact that it improves your life in one capacity or another. Certain practices will improve certain areas, and that’s why it’s up to you to determine what areas need improved and what practices will improve your desired area. Self-care is not universal, and that is why it’s so important to figure out what exactly does work for you. Therapy is one of the many avenues of self-care, and if you’re interested in taking that avenue, Alpha Assessment and Counseling is a great facility to look into!

Kaelyn Hedges is an RN BSN, and she currently runs and owns ReVitalize IV Wellness, LLC. She’s a mobile IV infusion nurse, and she’s based here in Enid, OK. Her company is all about feeling good and bettering yourself, so self-care is something she’s well-versed in. For her, self-care is all about doing anything that makes you feel good about yourself and more confident. She states, “Working out, growing my mind, and bettering myself is where a lot of my confidence comes from. I wasn’t a confident person until I started working on myself.” She mentions that she reads of a lot of self-improvement books, and she said one of her favorite self-improvement books is ‘Winning the War in Your Mind: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life’ by Craig Groeschel. She goes on to say that self-care is important because “You want to feel good about yourself, and you want to love yourself because if you’re not taking care of yourself, you can’t take care of others.” When referring to her IV Infusions, Kaelyn says, “They’re good for skin health and brain health, and they help with focusing.” They help with clearing up any brain fog, and they can help boost your immune system and energy. She has different options when it comes to her treatments, so her clients pick what they need at that moment or what works best for them. Her infusions target different areas and have different intentions, and her treatments deliver different combinations of minerals, nutrients, and vitamins into the bloodstream, which allows for quicker and more significant results. Whether you need an energy boost, some hydration, a confidence boost, or a reboot from a hangover the night before, ReVitalize IV Wellness, LLC has options for you. These options are another avenue for self-care right here in Enid, and Kaelyn is bringing IV therapy to you directly. Treat yourself and look her up on Instagram @revitalizeivwellnessenid for more information.

We also sat down with Meagan Lippard to talk with her about self-care. Meagan owns Blossom Beauty Bar PLLC, and her clinic has one goal, “to make aesthetic treatments effective, safe, and affordable for every woman and man.” Her clinic focuses on aesthetically pleasing services, and these services also benefit your well-being. Taking care of yourself externally reflects internally because if you look good, you tend to feel good. For her own self-care practices, Meagan likes to focus on her skincare and exercising. She states, “Self-care is doing anything for yourself that makes you feel better or puts you in a better mood.” Her clinic offers a wide variety of services that are forms of self-care for many. Whether you’re wanting Botox, chemical peels, filler, microneedling, dermaplaning, or skin care, Blossom Beauty Bar PLLC has options for you to choose from that’ll make you feel good about yourself. Meagan says, “Many people come to me for Botox because they feel like they look tired, so they want something that’ll make them look refreshened, and that’s taking care of themselves.” She continues with “Self-care is important because you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. Be intentional with your time and set time aside for yourself.” As a mom, Meagan often puts the needs of her loved ones above her own, which many can relate to. As she said, it’s important to be intentional with your time. Prioritizing yourself and your needs doesn’t mean you’re neglecting the needs of your loved ones – it simply means you’re making time for you, which we all need to do. If you’re interested in any of the many services offered by Blossom Beauty Bar PLLC or Meagan, give them a call for more information!

Dia Metcalf is a Licensed Massage Therapist at Connected Wellness LLC, and we also sat down with her to get her take on self-care. For her, self-care is all about her body, mind, and spirit – it’s about taking care of herself inside and out. For her own self-care practices, she goes and gets a massage about every 2 weeks. In addition to massages, she also prioritizes her health as a form of self-care. She gets regular checkups, and those checkups help her determine the areas of her life that need extra attention or more care. The checkups teach her more about herself, and that allows her to better herself by making changes and improvements to her day-to-day life. Dia says, “I try to listen to my body because we’re the only ones who know our bodies, and we’re the only ones responsible for ourselves.” She goes on to say, “People think self-care is a luxury, but you have to do it repeatedly to get the progress that you’re wanting.” Getting a massage once a year isn’t going to give you the same benefits as taking care of yourself weekly or even every other week. She believes that massages are one of the most effective forms of self-care because massages do so much for everything in the body. Massages affect your lymphatic system and nervous system, and it helps keep your muscles loose. Massages can also relieve stress and help with depression, anxiety, and blood pressure. She states, “Massages are very helpful for every part of your body. When you receive a massage, it releases endorphins and dopamine, and it makes you happier.” Dia recommends massages as the number 1 form of self-care because of all of the benefits it encompasses. If you’re looking to get a massage, Connected Wellness LLC is here in town, and Dia is absolutely wonderful. Visit their website or give them a call for more information!

Self Care Isn’t Selfish Signage

The world we currently live in is full of stress inducing trials and tribulations, and that’s exactly why it’s so important to take some time for yourself. Mental Health First Aid states, “Engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, increase happiness, and more. It can help you adapt to changes, build strong relationships, and recover from setbacks.” Simply put, practicing self-care can better your overall quality of life. In that same article, the listed benefits of self-care include enhanced self-confidence, increased productivity, and increased happiness. Other benefits listed include reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, and strokes. The benefits are evident – now it’s time to take care of yourself and experience those benefits firsthand.

With September being National Self-Care Awareness month, it brings attention to things we tend to neglect, space off, or forget. It allows you the time to refocus and reprioritize different aspects of your life, and after reading this article, hopefully your own well-being is one of those things being prioritized. Life is hard enough as is, so remember to be kind and forgiving with yourself, and remember it’s okay not to be okay. Today is just another day – tomorrow will be a different day. Take care of yourself, and tomorrow’s already on track to being a better day.

Blake Reese
Blake Reese is the Coeditor and Advertising Director for Enid Monthly. Writing and editing are passions of his, but he also enjoys the connections and relationships he gets to make by going out into the community. Blake is originally from Wichita, Kansas, but he relocated to Enid after graduating from college. He graduated from Wichita State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science accompanied by a minor in Communications. Blake definitely misses the city life from time to time, but he's happy to be a part of the Enid community.

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